The Best Time to Train Your Dog

What is the best time to train your dog? There is actually more than one best time to train your dog…there are five! We’ll be posting one of them each day this week. Here’s lucky number 4.

 Best Time to Train Your Dog - Paul Owens

Best Time #4: Immediately Following an Unwanted Behavior

If a dog steals food off the table, runs out the door or jumps on you, it indicates one of two problems: (1) the behavior has not been properly managed/prevented; or (2) you haven’t taught the dog an appropriate substitute behavior. Prevention and management refer to the proper use of tethers, baby gates and exercise pens. Substitution simply entails teaching the dog what you’d like him to do instead of stealing food off the table, running out the door or jumping on you and so on.

Sixty Seconds Immediately Following an Unwanted Behavior is the perfect opportunity for training – it’s fresh in your mind and in your dog’s mind. Taking 60 seconds to teach your dog to “leave it” when food is placed on the table or to lie down and stay when the door opens helps both of you become more aware. In short order, the new behavior becomes more reliable.

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